5 Things We’re Reading on Health Care Access

This week's reads on health care access explore why some mothers are more likely to suffer complications during childbirth, dwindling funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program and why more patients don't use telehealth services.

For pregnant mothers, hospital choice may be matter of life and death

A ProPublica report found women who give birth at “disproportionately black-serving hospitals” are at much greater risk of injury or death than those who deliver their babies elsewhere. Find the in-depth coverage here.

CHIP funding running low in many states

Even though Congress approved funds for the Children’s Health Insurance Program to keep it running for three months, some states will run out of CHIP money by Jan. 19, Kaiser Health News reports. CHIP covers 9 million children from low-income families across the country. Read coverage here.

Doctors ditch their 9-to-5 work day

Physician practices across the country are offering same-day appointments and staying open longer to ease access to care, a recent Health Affairs blog post explains. “We are trying to provide health care that fits people’s real lives,” one physician says. Get the details here.

Association health plans could attract many but lack consumer protections

The Trump administration recently proposed rules that would allow self-employed people, small business owners and others to come together and buy so-called association health plans. About 11 million Americans would be eligible to find insurance in this way, the New York Times reported. But these plans could be exempt from some of the Affordable Care Act’s key consumer protections, such as required coverage of essential health benefits. Read the Times’ coverage.

Most consumers don’t use telehealth — lack of awareness may be to blame

Even though telehealth has been hyped as a way to increase patients’ access to clinicians, a new survey shows 82 percent of consumers don’t use the technology — and two-thirds said they didn’t know if their insurance covered virtual visits. Read details from MedCity News.

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